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Ursula von Rydingsvard, Krypta I, 2014. Cedar, graphite.125 x 77 x 56 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Lelong, New York.
Ursula von Rydingsvard, Krypta I, 2014. Cedar, graphite.125 x 77 x 56 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Lelong, New York.
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Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling

April 27, 2018–August 26, 2018

Opening Reception:
April 27, 2018, 6:00 – 8:00 pm


“We don’t know the contour of feeling; we only know what molds it from without.” – Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), Fourth Duino Elegy
 
Celebrated as one of the most influential sculptors working today, Ursula von Rydingsvard is best known for her monumental works and signature use of cedar wood. Her sculptures’ abstract shapes reference the mark of the human hand—evidence of the artist’s meticulous process of cutting, shaping, and assembling her works from thousands of cedar blocks—while simultaneously evoking the grandeur and power of nature.
 
Guest curated by Mark Rosenthal, Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling focuses on von Rydingsvard’s artistic development since 2000 and her continued commitment to experimentation throughout her career. Alongside a survey of recent works, the inclusion of select early sculptures will provide insight into the artist’s longstanding material and thematic interests. Featuring approximately 20 works—over half of which are large-scale—the exhibition includes many sculptures never before exhibited in the United States.
 
The Contour of Feeling will also mark the debut of a new massive sculpture created in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum specifically for the exhibition. Constructed from leather—a first for the artist—the piece’s scale is in keeping with recent work, while the new material represents an expansion for von Rydingsvard’s practice. It will mark the second collaboration between the artist and FWM, the first being in 1989 when she created a new work from felt.
 
By spotlighting her more recent work and contrasting it with earlier pieces, Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling highlights the artist’s evolution and presents a window into a unique synthesis of emotional fragility and imposing scale in her work that marks von Rydingsvard as an extraordinary artist of our time.
 
The Contour of Feeling will coincide with Now, She: Two Sculptures by Ursula von Rydingsvard, on view in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Anne d'Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden (April 27, 2018 through April 2019).
 
 
About the Artist
Ursula von Rydingsvard was born in 1942 in Deensen, Germany. She has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions internationally, including the traveling exhibition Ursula von Rydingsvard: 1991-2001 organized by the SculptureCenter, New York, and her 2015 presentation at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England. Her work is part of over thirty museum collections, including: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, NY; and the Detroit Institute of Arts, MI. Her sculptures are in such collections as the Microsoft Corporation, Bloomberg Corporation, and Barclays Center. In 2015, Princeton University permanently installed her first monumental work in hand-pounded copper. She has received honors including the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, three awards from the American section of the International Association of Art Critics, the International Sculpture Center Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The artist lives and works in New York.
 
 
About the Curator
Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling is organized by Mark Rosenthal, an independent curator based in New York. With a distinguished career in museum work, Rosenthal has served as Head of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery, Washington, DC, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In addition, he has been an Adjunct Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Menil Collection, Houston; and the Detroit Institute of Arts. His past exhibitions include Regarding Andy Warhol for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, An Odyssey: A Narrative of The Fabric Workshop and Museum for FWM, and Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit for the Detroit Institute of Arts.
 
 
Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by: an anonymous donor; Heidi and Tom McWilliams; Agnes Gund; Harvey S. Shipley Miller, the Shipley Miller Foundation; the Arcadia Foundation; Katie Adams Schaeffer and Tony Schaeffer; Barbara B. and Theodore R. Aronson; the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation; and Maja Paumgarten and John Parker. 
 
Major support of FWM is provided by the Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud Foundation. FWM receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional operational support is provided by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Agnes Gund, and the Board of Directors and Members of The Fabric Workshop and Museum.
National Endowment for the ArtsPennsylvania Council on the ArtsThe Philadelphia Cultural Fund